LUSAKA. – The Zambian government yesterday condemned attacks on a private radio station by suspected supporters of the ruling party and warned that it will not condone attacks on journalists. On Thursday, suspected supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) besieged offices of 5FM Radio in Lusaka, the country’s capital in order to block an opposition politician who was to be featured on a live interview.
The unruly supporters stoned the radio station’s offices, breaking windows and vehicles belonging to the opposition politician and his supporters. They only scampered after one of the opposition supporters fired his gun.
“This barbaric act is not only primitive, but a serious assault on the freedom of the press,” Kampamba Mulenga, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting said. The government, she said, will not condone attacks on journalists as the media play a key role in the dissemination of quality information which was a fundamental prerequisite in any democracy.
It is, therefore, shameful and unfortunate that the alleged assailants have found difficulties to realise this fact and have instead turned against people they are supposed to protect and support, she added.
The minister, who is also chief government spokesperson, has called on law enforcement agencies to investigate the matter and ensure that the culprits are to brought to book. According to her, journalists should be allowed to work without fear or intimidation from any individual or political party. – Xinhua.